Shavra – 2020 Rebirth

As for now, I have gotten around working on this again and made some progress. The overwhelming majority of things are still in a very early, rushed state. Mostly because I never actually did much LUA for this, unlike Acythian, so I have to do almost all in-game systems from scratch. I have an inventory framework and even figured out a work around to having a key or quest object simoultaneously show up in the players inventory but also acting as a standard key. So thats good. However, now I struggle to add more player attributes than health to flesh out the game. If anyone made some headway here or has suggestions of what can be done, I am always open for ideas.

On the visual front of things I have taken the time to brush up my old stuff. I mean old stuff. I have some fantasy props from the FPSC community that date back to 2006 and while I could just remake them from scratch, with a higher poly count and generally increased detail I decided to just use my texture library (mostly stuff from textures.com and davegh in this case) and quickly spruce them up with new textures, UV’s and shaders. I mean, the original ones used solid colors on some.
Now this is mostly sentimental value because I have used these props so often throughout the years that I grew kind of attached to them.
Here is a selection so you know what I am yapping on about:

More pillars

Small stuff

Plinth

Stuff I

Stuff II

Grave Pillars

I have also gotten valuable feedback from this community that the ambient settings of my earlier screenshots didn’t quite cut it so
I have overhauled them. While test runs with beautiful blue skies or an evening sunset looked the best, I did want to maintain the slightly more eeriee overcast nature of the scene and thanks to rolfy, I found just the skybox and adjusted the level to that. See here:

And on a final note, to my surprise this map still ran with a solid 60 fps after I have added all the environmental critters. Frogs, Moths, Dragonflies and bugs all thanks to Gtoxs extraordinary artistry. Now I did the same thing on this map in an earlier version of game guru and straight up lost 20 fps.

Changelog

Implemented rudimentary inventory system based on moshrooms great code.
Upgraded Weapons and Hands to PBR
Overhauled ambience of the journey maps that lead from the Apothecary to the village of Ramak.
Imported collection of old environment props
Created several detail props
Implemented simple journal system

As always, I am grateful for your feedback and there is more to come!

*********************

Hey gang, its been a while so I’d like to update this with some more recent stuff.
Now, not THAT much has happened but I did get around to improve a few more aspects of the game. Its all going well and things are progressing. I also retain 60 FPS on my rig, which is marvelous. I’ll keep you all updated on how that fares in the future as well as I think its important.

I said before that even though this project started when GG was in its prolonged infancy, that I dont have as much gameplay related stuff ready as I have for Acythian as I shelved it pretty early on simply because there was no way I could pull it off in older GG versions. I try not to endlessly chip away on a “pipe dream” but as I stated, I always wanted to make this game. I bring this up because I realized by working on it just how much I am on square one with it. Maybe square 2 with a lot of generosity and faith

That being said, a lot of things are not yet decided. I do have pretty neat characters, you’ve seen glimpses of them in previous screenshots but I am also interested in seeing the new and improved character editor that is promised to be in GG max. I plan to have this game have occasional spoken dialogue bits but mostly written multiple choice dialogue sequences…. but with an easy lip sync system I might just get a couple buddies together to voice it and see how that fares. So thats all pretty much in the dark still.

Speaking of GG max, Lee has promised us backwards compatibility but I am cautious about that, so I am on the fence of fully plunging into some mechanics right away because… well, I am fairly certain I can just pop my levels, at least the static geometry and basic animated stuff, straight into GGX but I do have my suspicions when it comes to global parameter heavy scripts like an inventory system. So I will likely get a few levels made, pop in basic combat and exploration and wait to sink my teeth into the real meat of the game later on. If you have thought about that for your own works, lemme know.

So the game is intended to have between 15 or 20 Levels. That would make it the larges GG game to date, I am aware of that, but hey, its a project that is very dear to me so I want it to fill a couple evenings for the player.

Some frustration came also in realizing that the exteriors don’t quite look the way I want them to. Some of that is down to GG’s rendering but most is because I simply don’t have the right assets yet so I am also working on that. There are some great games out there with a visual style that I intend to come close to from the early 2000s and I do need a few more passes to get that right.

Allow me to also post a few screenies from an area I have been working on. This is part of the main quest and you will get to deal with some nasty critters. Keep in mind looking at this that you will hunt (or be hunted by) giant spiders here that creep up on you through the foliage. You can not always see them coming until they are close which is a nice added effect. I’ll be sure to record some eeriee audio for them sometime this week. This all leads up to an abandoned mining village where they dug up a subterranean spider nest. You will be tasked to play exterminator here and destroy the nest. Nothing too special but a neat creepy aside from the main story line in my mind.

As always, the soundtrack will make or break this scene. I intend to have thick swamp sounds with frogs croaking (and be actually visible in the game for that matter) and a subdued tribal music suite that flares up every now and then. We’ll see how this goes.

Here is something that will amuse some of my fellow GG users, I have a lot of unity packs ready to go that are far superior, but a lot of the fun to me is making or modding my own stuff. So these are the cartoon props from the classics collection remade:

Changelog

Polished some of the levels, including new foliage and other environment models
Increased grass draw distance and thus improving look and feel of exteriors (thanks guys!)
Changed PBR rendering values to improve metallic and glass objects (soon to be seen)
New architectural content as seen above. More to be added soon.

As always, thanks for reading and all the amazing support I’ve gotten for this project so far! Cheers!!

********************************

Hello again!

I’ve been working on improving the existing maps a bit and also added a new one. Dungeons, crypts and mines are of course an integral part of the fantasy adventure genre and I do intend to both make them interesting and engaging. For that I have specific ideas to stretch the gameplay to last at least 15 minutes per level. The “indoorsy” nature of these areas allows me to optimize them to both be quite large and labyrinthian while maintaining a flawless frame rate (See my old optimization tutorial in the tuts section if you too would like to know how to do this. Specifically, turn off the terrain and water whenever the player can not see it.)

Shavra takes a lot of inspiration from older fantasy games, stuff that came out in the late 90s and early 2000s simply because those games had very isolated gameplay beats. You reach a puzzle, you solve it, you move on, you encounter an enemy, you deal with it, you move on… this is in contrast to newer games like “The Witcher” or “Kingdom Come: Deliverance” where there are constant interconnecting systems engaging each other and plenty of stats being updated, changed…so forth. I don’t intend to make the game feel simple by any means, there is just less number crunching under the hood because I know well enough that I couldn’t code that in LUA. So if you encounter a trap in Shavra, you will have to deal with it independent of your current relationship to the kings wife or what potion you drank 2 levels prior.
I ..err… hope this makes sense

So this level is far from done of course but I decided to lightmap an early version of it and the results can be seen below.

I am also still in the process of converting media. Currently on the chopping block are unfamillias cartoon assets, which will be remolded to go with my art style but are otherwise quite useful and the stock medieval buildings by arteria 3d. Not only do these get a fresh coat of paint and shader maps but I also managed to reduce their polycount by several hundred polygons. File and texture size are also far more lightweight

You see that the dungeon is a bit too colorful for my taste and not everything is 100% polished, at this stage nothing is, but I will not tweak it too much as this will eventually get ported to GGX. So there is little point in fine tuning a lighting system that will be replaced anyway.

As always, thanks for reading and please let me know your thoughts

Changelog

Just improved maps.

 

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More Unity shenanigans

Hello!

I’d like to share more of my unity progress and experiments here:

From the Acythian Prototype

and more of the Shavra Prototype here:

Posted in 3D Art, Development, Shavra | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amytric Pulse : Operation Euridike Full Release

PLEASE READ THESE FOUR POINTS BEFORE YOU PLAY!

* This game uses the dividetexturesize = 2 command and runs therefore in half resolution. Sadly, this was necessary to get it to run at all. You can change this value back to 1 or 0 in the setup.ini if you wish to try running it in full resolution, as intended. Now, this will likely crash but if it happens to run for you, please let me know.

* While in game, you can press F12 to activate reshade. This will tint the game differently, add anti aliasing and a few other neat post processing improvements. It really does mask the fact that it runs in half resolution a bit HOWEVER
if you run re-shade: The loading screens will now no longer be visible. This means that you will miss out on the lore that I have put into those. If you wish to read them, you can switch re-shade off when a level is about to end (second autosave in a level) or read them as PNG files I packed with the game.

* Sometimes you might get a subscript out of bounds error during level load. This will usually not repeat if you restart the game, load your last save and continue again. I am sorry for the inconvenience and can understand if this is a deal breaker for you. However, with FPSC a lot of things are always compromises.

* IMPORTANT: This game runs in 1920*1080 by default. You can edit this by changing the “height” and “width” lines in the setup.ini with your preferred resolution.

****

Hey Gang!

I’m happy to finally release the public version of Amytric Pulse! Please let know what you think of the game, I always appreciate your feedback!

DOWNLOAD MEDIAFIRE

Amytric Pulse – Operation Euridike is a straight forward action fps with some subdued adventure elements.

I understand that through the years I have earned a bit of a reputation of doing new things in FPSC, new techniques, models, shaders… none of that is here. This is just a somewhat simple FPSC shooter and I guarantee that nothing about it reinvents the wheel. However I’m pretty confident that it’ll be good fun.
You can expect the same type of game I used to release around 2010. I’ve specifically designed it to work within the limits of the memory cap while still featuring a lot of action, that is why some scenes seem a bit barren or low-poly. You can visit my art station gallery to see some of these older projects. In a way I am really glad I released this game as it is very similar in style and substance as the old FPSC SF “Shavra” games of which only 2 where finalized, albeit with game breaking problems. (See one of them here.)

P L O T

Personal Log of Agent Anja Sorensdottir:

Operation Scythe, a coordinated international offensive against the transgenic Collective was a dire failure and cost us most of our men and resources. While we managed to weaken the mutant forces significantly, they have struck us with such a fatal blow that it might have just been the final nail in the coffin for humanity as we know it.

Task Force Zero has already been reduced to a single active unit and in the wake of this grand assault, our men have been taken captive by the Collective.
Now reduced to a skeleton crew we concocted a plan to rescue our agents. Its really nothing more than a last ditch effort…, to send in the last remaining member of the Task Force, with hopes that he single-handedly exfiltrates a dozen captives from a formidable high security military installation.

However, to Agent Grimms immense credit he has accepted the mission without any hesitation. He appears confident that there is a chance for us to make a dent into their defenses and his demeanor had a calming effect on me during our preparations. If he can remain so restrained even though his fiancée is among those captured, why should I be such a nervous wreck? After all
he is the one actually sent in there while I’ll only observe through his info-link.

We’ll drop Grimm over the Qasqir Tower military installation, once a brutalist monument to the military strength of the Pan-Asian Coalition, now a center of operations for the Collective.
High altitude, low opening in the dead of night. There is a distinct chance he will not be noticed as the mutants likely don’t expect a break in from the top. It is up to him to interface me with the buildings intranet so I can lock out the reinforcements from the lower levels of the tower. After that all he has is about an hour, maybe hour and a half before they circumnavigate my efforts and he’ll be so outgunned that even a man of his caliber and particular skill set will be outmatched. If our agents are still alive, he is to find them. Our thermal-echolocation scan of the building revealed them to be held near the helipads, that is our only chance. If he manages to get to them in time we can send in a stealth helicopter to retrieve them. A lot of “ifs” and “buts” and no certainty.

I understand that I am likely the most efficient hacker still operating for the collective but I’d dread to be the one on com-line while they send Morgan Grimm to his death.

F E A T U R E S

* Its a new FPSC game that isn’t a dull walking simulator with the spoopy closet monster! Yay!
* 9 Levels, some of them might even be good!
* Custom sound design and voice acting
* That homely old janky amateur production quality
* The game is kinda blue, its stylistically designed to be this way but I might have gone too far in a few places. (if you go with the intended look by pressing F12.)
* Sometimes you even get free surprise run-time errors! (I am sorry)

V I D E O S

SPOILERS

 

 

 

S C R E E N S H O T S

Notes to my Beta Testers

* Replaced initial appearance of Qasqir Tower to make it more coherent with what it looks in-game
* You should no longer be able to glitch through the vent shaft in level 3
* Additional Save Points and Save Points placed better
* Game Difficulty reduced with new AI in places
* Hostiles no longer use rocket launchers (subscript error still persists though)
* Clear Info Sheet in level 1 to explain what a health pack is
* G36 improved and picking up a rifle no longer loops the entire reload sound.
* Garage Door no longer opens into oblivion
* Some static health items are now dynamic

Not improved are:
* Error where the player is stuck after respawn. I was not able to replicate the issue
* Lack of interactivity in some areas. Given how I have to already run this at half resolution I was hesitant to add more HUD images… so if a console does not have an interaction prompt (F) its not interactive.

DOWNLOAD MEDIAFIRE

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Amytric Pulse – Operation Euridike – To be released in late october, early november


Hey gang!
If you read this thread, chances are you’ve already seen me presenting this game on Discord. Now, since this is a project, just like I used to work on back in the day, it only felt right to also have an appropriate work in progress thread. Just like old times!

Speaking of old times, that is also exactly what you can expect from this game. I understand that through the years I have earned a bit of a reputation of doing new things in FPSC, new techniques, models, shaders… none of that is here. This is just a somewhat simple FPSC shooter and I guarantee that nothing about it reinvents the wheel. However I’m pretty confident that it’ll be good fun.
You can expect the same type of game I used to release around 2010. I’ve specifically designed it to work within the limits of the memory cap while still featuring a lot of action, that is why some scenes seem a bit barren or low-poly.

Amytric Pulse – Operation Euridike is a straight forward action fps with some subdued adventure elements. I aim for a release around late october or early november. The game is nearly in alpha and the release date entirely depends on how long it’ll take me to record all the voice acting and polish the levels. AND of course… this IS FPSC, so a lot depends on wether it works or not. I have a whole catalogue of FPSC titles that I could not fit into its laughable memory cap back in the day but thanks to Nomad and S4reals stellar work with the Black Ice Mod there is just enough wiggle room now to make slightly more elaborate games in FPSC. So if you too want to give it another spin, now is the time.

Given FPSC’s nature and track record its still just as possible that this will simply not work in the end! I can still chop the game up into chapters if the loading bug persists but I am confident that with BMI’s improvments, this might just work! If so, I’ll likely persue a more complex FPSC project in the future but for now, its just a shooter

P L O T

Personal Log of Agent Anna Sorensdottir:

Operation Scythe, a coordinated international offensive against the transgenic Collective was a dire failure and cost us most of our men and resources. While we managed to weaken the mutant forces significantly, they have struck us with such a fatal blow that it might have just been the final nail in the coffin for humanity as we know it.

Task Force Zero has already been reduced to a single active unit and in the wake of this grand assault, our men have been taken captive by the Collective.
Now reduced to a skeleton crew we concocted a plan to rescue our agents. Its really nothing more than a last ditch effort…, to send in the last remaining member of the Task Force, with hopes that he single handedly exfiltrates a dozen captives from a formidable high security military installation.

However, to Agent Grimms immense credit he has accepted the mission without any hesitation. He appears confident that there is a chance for us to make a dent into their defenses and his demeanor had a calming effect on me during our preparations. If he can remain so restrained even though his fiancée is among those captured, why should I be such a nervous wreck? After all
he is the one actually sent in there while I’ll only observe through his infolink.

We’ll drop Grimm over the Qasqir Tower military installation, once a brutalist monument to the military strength of the Pan-Asian Coalition, now a center of operations for the Collective.
High altitude, low opening in the dead of night. There is a distinct chance he will not be noticed as the mutants likely don’t expect a break in from the top. It is up to him to interface me with the buildings intranet so I can lock out the reinforcements from the lower levels of the tower. After that all he has is about an hour, maybe hour and a half before they circumnavigate my efforts and he’ll be so outgunned that even a man of his caliber and particular skill set will be outmatched. If our agents are still alive, he is to find them. Our thermalecholocation scan of the building revealed them to be held near the helipads, that is our only chance. If he manages to get to them in time we can send in a stealth helicopter to retrieve them. A lot of “ifs” and “buts” and no certainty.

I understand that I am likely the most efficient hacker still operating for the collective but I’d dread to be the one on com-line while they send Morgan Grimm to his death.

F E A T U R E S

* Its a new FPSC game that isn’t a dull walking simulator with the spoopy closet monster! Yay!
* 9 Levels, some of them might even be good!
* Custom sound design and voice acting
* That homely old janky amateur production quality
* The game is kinda blue, its stylistically designed to be this way but I might have gone too far in a few places.

S C R E E N S H O T S

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Acythian – More prototyping and a lot to learn

Hello!

Its time for a little update on my project Acythian. Now a lot of my regular readers have likely seen all of this already but so far I have not uploaded it “officially”.

These are more screenshots and impressions from a work in progress map for my game project Acythian.

So far I’ve learned a lot with unity. I mastered basic C# coding and am pretty familiar with the engine and its querks. I’m very fond of the dynamic lighting system and can now confidently use the particle system. In these screenshots all objects have proper physics and react accordingly to force. Including impact sounds when something is dropped or shot at. Bulletholes, which are part of the UFPS controller, have also been implemented where appropriate.

It took a while to get used to, compared to the simpler systems I was working in before but I am now also relatively competent with Unity’s sound system. Detailed ambient soundscapes have always been something I tried to implement into my games.

Here a little something I wanted to show you:

As you can see, you can now properly shoot up a desk, bullet holes appear, objects fall over. its not quite as visceral as in FEAR but its certainly more dynamic than previous titles of mine. Still long ways to go.

There will be quite some change in pace and content on here, so stay tuned for that.

Thank you for reading!

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On learning Unity…

Hey, hey people! 

I hope this summer finds you well and welcome to this article, where I will tell you a few things about my experience with learning Unity and why you too might want to leave maker software behind if you want to evolve as a game designer.

I will also briefly summarize why I have been kind of tied to “game creator” software in the past and what has kept me from making this step far earlier.

Why did you use Game Guru before?

Well, the answer to this is simple, I was using FPSC before then and was enjoying the software, the community and the games I have made with it quite a bit. Despite the inherent shortcomings that eventually killed it off, FPSC had a lot going for it and was pretty revolutionary when it was first released in 2005. Sadly, TGC never saw the true potential this type of software holds and, with how they handled the successor Game Guru where more interesting in running it in the ground. This might sound ignorant and harsh to GG community members but its really not if you look at how the software was handled until now. Remember when they tried to morph the software we backed into a sandbox game for kids? I remember.

Game Guru, was originally introduced as FPSCreator reloaded.

Now, FPSCreator reloaded was supposed to be a recode of FPSCreator. With more features, modernized and above all as actually working software. If you are not aware: FPSCreator had a few dire shortcomings such as the memory cap and a general instability of projects. This is the main reason why I have such a long list of discontinued game projects. As media grew to have more polygons and as shaders where introduced, it became increasingly less practical to work in FPSC. Even games that where specifically designed to work within the parameters of the memory cap would cause issues. This is why there are zero decent FPSC projects that are longer than 3 or 4 shoebox sized levels. And those that exist seldomly allow the player to finish a session without a few restarts and crashes. FPSCR should have provided a robust FPS template to allow single devs to make their own first person perspective games without having to dabble into too much coding. At its core a great idea, in execution lackluster.

Sadly, FPSC was rebranded Game Guru and due to tons of mismanagment and simply bad design choices its not a successor to FPSC nor a particularly good game creator. To this date it lacks dynamic shadows, it has abysmal performance and barely integrated features.

I have been very loyal to TGC throughout the years and greatly enjoyed the community but with GG simply not delivering on what it promised and with so little strides of progress in the 5 years or so I have been supporting it I … well… I simply grew tired of working for months on ideas of mine only to shelve them. No matter how many custom media I design, no matter how many workarounds I come up with to make my game seem to be more than it is and to make it seem like it runs on an engine more competent than it really is. The end result would simply always be lacking, always be awkward and the player would always notice the bad performance and awkward rendering long before he might notice all the work I have put in. So it was time for me to leave.

Initially I was trying to use the Source engine, as I could use all the prefabs from monolithic titans such as HL² for my game. This means basic gameplay scripts, working AI out of the box and a decent FPS controller. Sadly, source is ancient by now and you can tell that importing my media would have taken me ages of painstaking work. And I had enough of that converting my stuff for Game Guru. There is a reason why the majority of source games use valve’s assets and maybe one or 2 custom props.

Unreal Engine 4 would overheat my laptop and cry engine was simply not approachable for me. So!

Inspired by the visual fidelity of “Escape from Tarkov” and by IcePickLodges Pathologic remake I jumped into Unity. There where other reasons that made me choose the engine.

First of all, its free! Second I have seen well known artists such as rolfy, whom’s work I’ve always used and enjoyed make great, studio like things in it. Third it did not overheat my laptop (altough, after years! I finally had the fund to upgrade to a decent rig).Fourth: Importing and setting up my media was a breeze and the engine is very versatile when it comes to meshes, collision, physics and materials.

First Unity Prototype. This did not run perfectly as I was unaware of basic optimisation but I was amazed that I had this working within a couple of days.

 

2nd Unity Prototype. Getting there!

Misconceptions about using a “real” engine.

Chances are that if you are currently using some creator (FPSC; GG; RPGM) that you believe that you could not achieve the same quality in a proper engine. This used to be true as not so long ago, using a big name engine like the unreal engine was very technical.

However, with the industry basically being free and accessible for hobbyists now and so many templates and media on the market, this is simply no longer true.

Is it harder to make a game in Unity than it is in Game Guru? No. The learning curve is a little steeper at first but you will be able to make an actual game. Using GG is only easy if you “drag and drop” a few mismatching props in a map (you would be surprised how many people honestly believe something like that is worth selling on steam, oh my!) but once you start to do custom work you will find it incredibly hard to impossible to have it all run in a working, compiled game! (If you have eyes in your skull you will likely not be willing to settle for an engine that supports PBR shading but no proper lighting anyway.)

So no, its not really that much harder to work in Unity.

Here is a list of everything I previously assumed:

* I will need to code to get anything done.

Not true, you will need to be able to read scripts and modify existing ones. The community is generous and offers many free scripts for you to get basic gameplay going and there are brilliant templates that basically set you up with everything you need to jump start development.

I was sure that if I use unity, I will need weeks to have an FPS controller running, but I didn’t as there was a brilliant one free to download by armed unity. LINK

This will add movment, climbing, swimming,explosions, weapons, vehicle controls and menues right off the bat.

* Making a game in an engine is extremely technical and takes a long time.

It is faster than using FPSC or GG simply because all tools actually work once you have mastered them. You will likely need longer to finish a project simply because now you can do a hundred times more things. I am positive I could make a full FPS game like Redacted² about as fast in Unity as I did in GG. (see archive)

* Importing media is difficult.

Its extremely easy and fast!

* Levels might be easy to do but gameplay is difficult.

Well, lets be honest here… Most game guru games, especially really terrible ones sold on steam, have 2 gameplay mechanics: 1. Shoot the barely reacting AI and 2. Hunt the key. (search for the key is the worst gameplay mechanic, double so if you have to backtrack the entire level. If your “hyper immersive, survival horror, story driven zombie game consists of “search the key for the door” you might want to consider getting real. Nobody enjoys this.) Sprinkled in are a few audio clips and on-screen messages and its done.

You can basically do this out of the box in any other engine in the same amount of time. Basic gameplay like doors, pickups, keys and lifts are really easy to realize in any engine. You dont have to stagnate using a lackluster product just because it gives you the illusion of being easy to use!

Naturally, things like inventory scripts and more complex gameplay such as dialogue or chains of events are hard to do. This is true. But since it all is such a fun learning by doing experience, I can only recommend: Try it anyway. Go ahead and download the engine that resonates the most with you and give it a solid try. At least for about a week. If it really is not your cup of tea, you can always just go back to your favorite creator software. Good stuff can come from those too.

Posted in 3D Art, acythian, Development, Miscellaneous, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My free Game Guru / FPSC media.

Hey!

Given that we’ve gotten a whole lot of new members lately and that some of my freebies for GG date back to 2014 I figured it might be a useful gift to some that I make a list of all my free stuff for Guru so far. You might have to register on the forums linked to download some of these!

 


DOWNLOAD LINK
The Dojo! A semi-modular set of buildings to create asian dojos.


DOWNLOAD LINK
A set of fuseboxes. This even includes variations and rusty/worn versions.


DOWNLOAD LINK
Modern industrial cylinders. I’m quite fond of these in my maps.


DOWNLOAD LINK
A fully fletched bar set! Includes shelves, bottles, counters etc.


DOWNLOAD LINK
The older version of the bar set. All sourcing from the same texture and very optimized.


DOWNLOAD LINK
Scifi Type Monitor Tables


DOWNLOAD LINK
Interplanetary Antenna. A scifi decorative scenery model.


DOWNLOAD LINK
Another high quality fuse box set!


DOWNLOAD LINK
A simple medieval sword.


DOWNLOAD LINK
Fantasy Pack II – Underworld. A full set of fantasy props and decorations.


DOWNLOAD LINK
Simple outdoor shrine/altar prop


DOWNLOAD LINK
Simplified gothic archs


DOWNLOAD LINK
Old scifi buildings. Not good but decent for place holders.


DOWNLOAD LINK
A full set of desert fantasy buildings. 

Cheers!

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Acythian – 2019 City and Characters

UPDATE

If you followed this project since its inception you might have noticed that it went through several iterations of character designs.
Initially I was working with Errant AI’s character collection. However, despite being very versatile they are barely usable as civilians and entirely geared towards military type games. Modifying them to look the part for anything else would look extraordinarily cheesy. I’ll still use them as armed enemies as their animation pool is just perfect and there are enough masked variants to hide the difference in style with all the other characters.

Secondly I just used retextured versions of the stock Game Guru characters. These came with pretty neat scifi versions and with a few edits to the fantasy pack types I had neat cyberpunk characters. However, I did not want the characters in my game to be instantly recognizable as GG chars. I also found a lot of the civilian and military types to be very generic in style. I understand that this was made on purpose as GG should allow the user to have the ability to make a videogame in any genre he likes but it was rubbing me the wrong way. The androgynous looking female character variants did not strike my fancy either.

Apart from some testing with high poly variants that where all not for my skill level I finally came to a decision.

I own a lot of chars from arteria 3d. Especially the FPSC versions (generally perceived as low quality as it seems they have been made FPSC ready by brute force, quality be damned) have a pretty low polygon count. The retail versions from their store have LOD versions and look genuinely decent. They have an impressive animation pool and can reach quite decent quality. And with owning so many of them I can easily have enough variation going on in my levels without being too taxing on the engine.

Now, there is one extra point to using these. I enjoy salvaging and retexturing old media to my liking. These chars are perfect as they have barely seen any use in FPSC projects. Feel free to guess what pack they are from if you own them

And here are those I have ready so far:

She was pretty much ready to go out of the box and is one of the higher quality characters in acythians collection so far. Same level of detail as Shavra characters later in production.

Talking with Pirate Myke he suggested that I make a smoother version for an up close LOD level of this one. But alas, I came to the conclusion that I sacrifice a lot of quality on other chars and that no matter what I do, I don’t have the necessary skills to significantly improve this one. SO this is what he looks like

A military type char I converted to look more like a street crook.

He looks more like a leather gimp than a char to be taken all too serious but I think he turned out neat, despite having some of the worst UV mapping I ever made. Ha!

The outfit turned out alright. I deal with the unfortunate face texture stretching later

LODS, POLYGONS AND ILLUSIONS

Even if I use Lowpoly characters. There are a lot of performance and stability related factors I have to keep in mind.
Naturally, no chars are active once a level starts. This goes without saying. But I have looked for more solutions to keeping those FPS high even with a lot of characters active. Here goes:

*Spawning (of course).
*LOD levels. Specifically a LOD stage that has no mesh (if this does not load properly I just make it a single polygon. I have to test this)
The idea is to completely remove the character mesh once the player is far away enough that he would not see the character anyway. This can be set very close for indoor levels but I need to avoid model popping.
* NPCs just standing or sitting around can be entities rather than characters that loop a single animation track. This alone should have a positive impact on overall framerate.
* Lower texture resolution.

A few more impressions from the city level.

Now that the character issue is solved, I need to figure what kind of vehicles are being used in this games universe. Cars are more or less obsolete in general but I also don’t want to just copy something as iconic as blade runners flying vehicles. In the background of this screenshots you can see someone dealing in “vintage vehicle and machine parts”.

Yeah, the lack of real time shadows is very rough but I hope the urban decay translates well anyway in these tunnels.

I am also working on a better fire effect to replace these stock decals.

I’ve been experimenting with characters and have a bit to say about that but first I’d like to show you the progress I have made on that city map.
For all the artifacty GG rendering and the faults it has, its really starting to feel like an urban are playing through it. I’m a bit proud for how the player can traverse it and all the alcoves, nooks and crannies it has.

So far I have not done anything major to the colour tinting and overall feel of the level but just detailed it more. Also note that some shots have differences in brightness, as that too is something I’ll settle once and for all later on.

Take a look:

Comments are welcome as always and thank you for viewing!

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News about Acythian and the discontinuation of Shavra

Hello!

I have yet again updated page 1 to better represent the project at its current stage. The last time I did that was in February of 2017. Its true that this project has evolved along side the engine which is also why there has never even been a beta demo release (there have been 2 test releases which are the Redacted games. If you read this and never saw those, you can grab both here.)

You can clearly see, even if you only casually flip through the pages of this thread, that the game took a long time to find its tone and even genre. At this point I have written a lengthy design document and have everything pretty much thought out allowing me to work on small, episodic games and other pieces of artwork set in my own little fictional universe. This is nothing unfamiliar to any creative person and my other game projects went through a similar process but I really made that commitment to myself to stick to this project and its lore. I understand that so far, this might look like a generic shooter to any casual browser and its way less popular outside of the GG community than Shavra or other projects where. (relatively) However, people who saw my GDD liked it so far and I believe the world it builds has a lot of unique characteristics, including the characters it represents. It dawned on me that a lot of ideas in it are better suited, or at least better achievable for a person with a limited skillset such as myself in a novel.
Its a little life goal of mine to have one or 2 novels published. Nothing popular, just something that sits on the shelve in the SF section one day. As for the game, I still want to craft a few, no doubt obviously amateurish, yet hopefully entertaining, episodic titles with rather simple story lines and gameplay, yet set in a more complex and hopefully captivating world.

Originally, all I had in mind with this project was a dumb little shooter, using GG’s early extremely limited and broken features. The name of the project, not necessarily catchy or aesthetic was a result of me simply throwing letters together until something clicked. I did however add a little description of what it means and how to pronounce it to page 1. Then it evolved into a corridor based horror shooter, then a third person action game (when that was supposed to be implemented) and eventually it settled on first person action adventure.

Where am I going with this?

Good question. The reason for this rambling post so few of you will read is that I wanted to send out a little life-bleep as I have posted so little about the game lately and have been somewhat absent from the game guru community as a whole and that I decided to kill off all my more lofty and ambitious game ideas.
I was learning the ropes of other engines lately, “engine shopping” as some call it and decided that all that was simply no longer for me. I am not too old but just not at a stage of my life to be able to invest that kind of energy, to learn a complex tool for what is, lets be honest here, essentially a hobby activity. It all just feels like such a chore and is really not worth it for me. Most would require me to either form or join a team and I greatly prefer the helpful nature of this community over an all out collaboration.

Personally, the last real stride to go all out on a project, put in regular work hours and set milestones for myself was Skrye.

While it was hard for me to kill of “Shavra” as I tried to make it work in one iteration or another (Previous titles where Spyra and Relict) it was the right choice. I’m now experienced enought to just know what I can’t do and that game was something I was uttely incapable of ever pulling of. Acythian on the other hand allows me to make cool little things. Small fun games.

Some people on here are far more disciplined and diligent than I am. The truth is that while I enjoy my creative hobbies sometimes I don’t get around actually working on them for weeks in a row and therefore my projects can stagnate. I truely appreciate those of you who maintain an interest and keep checking back therefore all the more.

And thats really what I wanted to reduce my 3D hobby to given the little time I have for it : Fun. You’ll find that a lot of the things I do on here might seem less ambitious but therefore I hope they will somewhat soon be actually playable.

Thank you for reading even though it certainly took me a while to get to the point.

I’d also like to share some early screenshots from a city area. I’ve shown these around a bit before and mostly gotten good responses, albeit that there are a few things that need changing or adjusting. However, now that I have the general architecture of the level “carved out” I can start detailing it, which is the more enjoyable part.

Synchromesh had the really interesting idea that I might create some light aerial traffic with an animated skybox.

You’ll also see that its using dynamic lighting now…I’m still holding out for someone like Lee or Preben to implement something decent in the future. Here’s to optimism

If you are on the discord, you may have seen these before.

Light and visibility will likely change in this area in the future.

A screenshot from higher up. Several of these buildings have already been replaced and the whole scene is a lot less blue now.

The small market will have a few NPC’s later on.

 

C&C is always welcome. Up next will also be a few soundbytes from the soundtrack for those interested. I’ll upload those as a YT video.

 

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Basic melee weapon rigging in fragmotion [English / Deutsch]

Hello!

First of all this is going to be the last tutorial I make for fragmotion. I get a lot of messages about it and tried to explain how to use it to so many people that I simply don’t feel like it anymore. Someone I really respect asked me to so I abliged.

Ey!

Also vorab mal, das hier ist das letzte Tutorial zu Fragmotion das ich veröffentliche. Ich werd eigentlich dauernd danach gefragt und habs schon so vielen Leuten versucht beizubringen dass ich nun echt keinen Bock mehr habe. Nun, ein anderer 3d Modelliere den ich sehr respektiere hat mich gefragt, drum mach ichs nochmal:

I keep this as short and precise as possible. This tutorial will teach you the basic rigging functions (where to click). If you want to perfect it, you gotta experiment for yourself. So lets go:

Ich versuche es kurz und knackig zu halten. Diese Tutorial bringt dir bei wie du einfache Nahkampfwaffen an ein bestehendes Animationsset “riggst”: Also machen wir mal:

* First thing you gotta do is open the hand rig with the animations you want to rig to. Now make sure that you have it in default pose and no animations active (default) and click “file – merge”. Now you select the weapon you want to rig to the anims and import hit.

Öffne zuerst das Animationsset zu dem du riggen willst (die Hände). Clicke dann “file-merge”. Als nächstes wählst du die Waffe aus, die du importieren möchtest.

HOLD UP! Before you go any further you will want to make sure that your textures are unified. LINK ON HOW TO DO THAT.

Bevor du weiter machst solltest du sicher gehen dass sämtliche UV’s auf einer einzigen Textur sind. Damit es später im GG auch funktioniert und die passenden Shader hat. Dazu oben ein Link zu einem weiteren Tutorial.

Now lets continue:

The arrow points at the modifiers. Select your new weapon and scale it / rotate it, apply the correct material. Make sure its positioned where the original weapon used to be. Next step will be to delete the original weapon (but, of course, not its bone).

Skalieren, rotieren, plazieren. Hier gehts einfach darum dass deine Waffe genau so plaziert ist wie die Vorherige.

What happens now is you selecting the skeleton browser and the right bone (which one that is, is different for every rig and you have to use your splendid deductive reasoning skills on that one ) Select the weapon you want to rig, make sure the vertices are select as well!!!, click “assign selected vertices to bone.”

Fast geschafft! Nun wählst du den “Skeleton browser” an und suchst den passenden Bone. Bei Nahkampfwaffen ist es ja zum Glück nur einer. Du musst sicher gehen dass du die “vertices”auch ausgewählt hast. Wähle also die Waffe und den passenden Bone aus und klicke “assign select vertices to bone”. Welcher Bone das ist, ist bei jedem Rig etwas anders und das musst du selber rausfinden

Now you have to weigh the bones. For rigid bodies like melee weapons its usually the max weight but this can be a little less. Use the slider to set it and then click the biggest “set” button. Now check the animation if it plays correctly and if the weapon is placed correctly. When all that is good, badabing, badaboom, sonny jim, you rigged a weapon.

Hier musst du nun “Gewichte” für die Bones anbringen. Das machst du mit diesem farbigen Barren. Für rigide Körper wie etwa Prügelwaffen ists meistens eh das Maximum, es kann aber auch etwas weniger sein. Einfach die Animation abspielen und nachbessern bis es stimmt. Also: Gewicht wählen und den grossen “Set” Knopf drücken. Wenns nun so ist wie dus dir vorstellst wars das eigentlich auch schon.

IMPORTANT: To minimize further problems make sure that once you export there is only:

1 texture
1 material
and 1 animation set.

ALSO make sure that the animation is set to 30 fps, fragmo can set a higher number here which would be wrong.

Wichtig: Um weitere Probleme zu minimieren solltest du sicher gehen dass das Modell, bevor du exportierst, nur:

1 Texture
1 Material
und 1 Animation mit einer Bildwiederholrate /Framerate von 30 hat.

Want to rig something more advanced than melee weapons?

Here is a great video:

I hope this points some people in the right direction. Sorry for the eventual passive-aggressive tone but fragmotion isn’t fun…explaining it is less fun

Ich hoffe es hat ein Paar von euch die richtige Richtung gezeigt. Sollte ich genervt rüber kommen entschuldige ich mich aber fragmotion macht schon keinen Spaß…es erklären noch weniger

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